Dying Kadima Party to Finish Selecting Knesset List
As Israel’s political parties present their lists for the January elections, what is left of the Kadima party is set to announce its list.
All polls have indicated that Kadima, currently the Knesset’s largest party with 28 seats, will likely disappear and not be in the next Knesset, or will achieve a very small number of seats.
Nevertheless, Channel 2 News reported that the committee which is tasked with selecting the party’s list for the next Knesset held its first meeting on Tuesday morning.
The committee is made up of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, current party chairman MK Shaul Mofaz and the mayor of the city of Akko, Shimon Lankry. Kadima decided in October to cancel the party's planned primaries and instead appoint a committee to select its list for the next Knesset.
According to the Channel 2 report, the MKs who will likely be placed on the list after Mofaz are former Finance Minister Roni Bar-On, Yohanan Plesner, Yisrael Hasson and Dalia Itzik.
However, the report said, in recent days there have been indications that MK Bar-On plans to retire from politics and leave the dying party even before the election. Channel 2 noted that Bar-On did not answer Mofaz’s phone calls on Tuesday. Bar-On himself did not respond to the reports.
The committee will meet again on Wednesday in Olmert’s office and will decide on the final make-up of the list. It appears as though Olmert himself, even though he recently contemplated a return to politics, will not run this time.
Many of Kadima’s MKs have already announced they would not be running in the next election or have moved to other parties. On Monday, the Knesset approved a request by seven of Kadima’s MKs to split from the party and run with their former chairwoman, Tzipi Livni, in her new party. The split allows Livni to benefit from the funding provided to the seven MKs.
The move enraged the members of Kadima who have decided to remain with the party. MK Ronit Tirosh slammed Livni over the split, telling Arutz Sheva that Livni was "stealing MKs in broad daylight, not because of ideology, and all appears to be kosher when you need money.”